Any CIO Can Aspire to Be Strategic
It helps to report to the CEO, but that's not a prerequisite for clout. The split between "strategic CIOs" and "operational" or "tactical CIOs"--the 44 percent of CIOs involved in creating business strategy and the 56 percent for whom that is not a primary role--extends beyond their involvement in business decisions, but the differences aren't absolute.
Tactical CIOs are twice as likely to report to CFOs, while most strategic CIOs report to CEOs. Still, many of the CIOs who report to CFOs play a strategic role in the business. Strategic CIOs spend only a little less time with the IT staff than tactical CIOs do. Few strategic CIOs sit on the board of directors, although they attend more board meetings than tactical CIOs. Top IT executives are not limited to operational roles, even if they don't report to the CEO or sit on the board.
In fact, plenty of clout-carrying CIOs don't do either.